Landscaping

May require submittal of Design Review Request.

Landscaping is the construction or modification of any natural exterior surface element of a property including grading, drainage, plants, flowers, trees, irrigation, paths, and certain site features. 

For newly constructed properties, all landscaping must be completed by the owner within six (6) months of occupancy, unless occupancy occurs between September and December, in which case landscaping must be completed by June 30 of the following year.

The following landscape elements require Committee approval.  Other minor landscape alterations do not require committee approval.

  • Any landscaping projects for newly constructed properties not already reviewed by the LDRC’s design committee.
  • Major landscaping modification projects (landscaping disturbing or affecting in excess of 10% of the surface area of the Lot)
  • Removal, planting or replacing any tree requires the submission of a Design Review Request Form.  Removal, planting or replacing any tree in the tree lawn ALSO requires approval from the City of Denver Forestry Division.
  • Drainage modifications
  • Grading modifications
  • Retaining walls
  • Water features (ponds, fountains, etc)
  • Sculptures and Yard Ornaments

Removal, planting or replacing trees has its own set of guidelines, please see the Trees section of this document for more information.

All lots shall have properly maintained grass according to city standards or other acceptable plantings.  Stone or other non-plant ground cover may be used as an accessory only (not the primary ground cover).  All landscaped areas shall be irrigated with an automatic sprinkler system with sprinkler heads that are appropriate for the area to be covered.  Artificial grass and any other artificial plant material will not be placed in areas exposed to public view.  All rocks used in landscaping shall be material native to Colorado.

Planting concepts, plant varieties, and irrigation techniques which minimize water consumption are encouraged.  Landscaping with drought-tolerant plantings should be aesthetically pleasing and harmonious to the neighborhood.  Drought-tolerant landscaping proposals must be submitted in a Design Review Request which includes design drawings, plant lists and a plan for establishing the plantings and for ongoing maintenance and weed control.  For more information on water conservation, refer to the Denver Water Department publications.

A “tree lawn” is the area between a sidewalk and the curb.  Any tree lawn area adjacent to an owner’s property is the responsibility of that owner to maintain. Any tree lawn landscaping project requires the submission of a Design Review Request.  Stone or other ground cover material may be used as an accessory only (not the primary ground cover).  Tree lawn landscaping must allow for on-street parking and pedestrian access to the sidewalk.  For more information on removing, planting or replacing trees in the tree lawn, which has its own set of guidelines and City of Denver Forestry rules, please see the Trees section of this document for more information.

Planting concepts, plant varieties, and irrigation techniques which minimize water consumption (xeriscape) are encouraged.  For more information on water conservation, refer to the Denver Water Department publications.

Grading of yards will be done in a manner to direct drainage away from the structure, toward either the front or rear property lines.  Ponding of runoff should be avoided.  Directing drainage onto an adjacent property is not permitted.  Grades should generally not exceed a 3:1 slope (run: rise).

Water features, such as ponds and fountains, and statuary are permitted but must be approved by the Committee.  Such features must conform to and harmonized with the surrounding landscape, and not create an unreasonable noise level for adjacent property owners.

Yards will be properly maintained, kept free of weeds and invasive grasses, and mowed, trimmed and thinned in an attractive and healthy condition.  Owners have the duty to provide for regular weeding, pruning and maintenance of all plantings, including trees.  Diseased or dead plant materials and trees shall be removed and replaced in a reasonable timeframe (30 days unless during winter).  Yards shall be kept free of trash, construction materials and unsightly storage – this includes front, side and back yards, areas enclosed by fencing and areas adjacent to rear-lot fencing, garages and alleys.  Property owners are responsible for maintaining the landscaped portions of city right-of-way abutting their property (tree lawn) in accordance with Denver municipal codes, to include the trees and sod between the curb and sidewalk, as well as the space between rear-lot fences and alleys.  Driveways, setbacks, adjacent sidewalks and “teardrops”, including areas landscaped with river rock on either side of a home, garage and/or driveway, will be kept weed-free and well-maintained.  Landscaping shall not encroach on sidewalks, pedestrian throughways and alleys.

All landscaping improvements such as irrigation systems, retaining walls, edging, and planters and plant materials shall be maintained in good condition.

Evaluation Criteria for landscaping includes, but is not limited to:

  • Materials and installation methods must be appropriate;
  • Integrates well with existing landscaping;
  • Reasonably conforms and harmonizes with surroundings.

Vacant Lot Landscape Requirements – see Vacant Lot Landscaping

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